Three years ago I moved to Wiltshire and decided to take up horseriding at the age of 32 (having never been near a horse). I hoped it would be a good way to switch off from the demanding role of parish priest. I was pretty nervous about being laughed at or falling off but I couldn't have picked a better place to learn than with Rose at Ladysmith Equestrian.
The setting is lovely, Rose and her team really know and love the horses. Thanks to Rose's excellent instruction, unfailing patience and good humour - I have gone from complete novice, to confident rider; without once falling off or getting trodden on! And though I really was very nervous to start with, horseriding has become a pleasure that I'm now hooked on for life; and I know that though I'm moving elsewhere in the country, I shall take with me the good grounding in basic skills, techniques and safety knowledge I've been taught - as well as the confidence that horseriding brings. I thoroughly recommend them.
Revd Jemma Sander-Heys
Well, I thought I could ride... until I got into the Ladysmith school on my newly acquired horse with Rose to guide me! I am writing this now, 2 years down the road after a number of scares but many more magic moments and still completely hooked.
I have always dreamed of having a horse. The dream started with pony trekking aged 5 on the Bathgate Hills of West Lothian, during a summer break. I started to save up to buy a horse and even began the work of stacking bricks in the garden to build a stable, not realizing quite how long it would take!
During my teens and early 20’s I hacked out most weekends and was always up for a canter or brisk gallop. The riding stopped when I had my own kids – no time! But in the summer of 2010, I found myself riding out on an Argentinian Ranch and that was it, the obsession was back! I started hacking out again weekly or twice a week if weather and work allowed.
I hatched a plan to retire from my full on job in the NHS and at last buy my own horse. Aged 55 years I felt that if I left it too much longer to realize this dream, I might miss the chance.
In August 2012 my first horse "Magic" aged 4 years old arrived at his new home, Ladysmith Equestrian. Well, the rest is history as they say and Magic and I are going strong – most of the time!
With tremendous support from Rose my confidence, fitness and riding skills continue to improve. The original "pull" of being with a horse still holds true for me and when I am with Magic, whatever is going on in my life fades into the background and I experience what it really means to live in the moment.
The icing on the cake came this summer when Magic came first in his first walk & trot test at the Ladysmith dressage competition, a first Rosette!
My time at Ladysmith Equestrian has brought excitement, fun, new challenges and new friends. I can thoroughly recommend the supportive teaching and excellent livery facilities on offer.
Hazel - 2015
Thank you Rose for giving me an opportunity to take part in the competitions and courses Ladysmith have been running this spring and summer. I have really enjoyed taking part and have learned so much and it has given me confidence to do more. I am looking forward to the competitions next year.
I just wanted to say a really big thank you to you for the riding lesson you gave to my colleagues and I today. They all thoroughly enjoyed it and it has also given me the confidence after a 3 year gap from riding, to get back on a horse. I really wish you were nearer to me as I would be a regular at your Centre, but I am hoping when I am back in the area to come and have more lessons with you. I loved the fact that it was Adults only and your teaching methods.
Once again, thank you for a great experience and your patience.
When I started riding at Ladysmith I was very nervous after having had a few years break from riding due to school and college commitments and exams. Not only was Rose supportive and encouraging in lessons (I had had a fall whilst jumping some years ago, and I desperately want to get my love of jumping back) I was also able to enrol on Horse care and Stable management courses via the yard, which helped my confidence handling horses on the ground, as well as helping me prepare for one day owning a horse.
Well that day came sooner than I thought when Jack came onto the yard, only a few weeks after the first course had started! After riding him only once (I knew then and there he was \"the one\"!), I was fortunate enough to have him on loan for a month, before buying him. Rose's knowledge, support and encouragement in lessons allowed us to compete at local shows - I was even doing Show Jumping and Cross Country!
Jack is now 19 years old, and last year I took the difficult decision to look for another horse so I could carry on competing - Jack much prefers his quieter life in the field, being ridden by my mum and clients in the school and the odd hack together! After months of searching and through lots of chats and advice from Rose, Baz came along - who although is a lot bigger, is the spitting image of Jack - I now have a little and large!
I've had Baz a year now, and Rose has really helped my confidence of bringing on a young horse who had only ever hunted. It's been a learning curve for myself and Baz, and we've still got lots left to conquer but Rose has helped us in all aspects from riding, lunging and loading (that one took a lot of patience, thank goodness she had the patience with him and I!) She really has helped us start to build a fantastic partnership. Not only is the instruction first class, the yard itself is wonderful. Whether you're going there for lessons or you own a horse here, everyone is so friendly and helpful.
Just writing this letter to say \"Thank you\" for hosting the dressage competition last Saturday. I had such a lovely day. Surrounded by people who were all very supportive of each other, the atmosphere was fantastic and it was a day I will never forget, especially as it was the first competition I have ever done on my horse Soli. As you know Rose, nine years previously I had a bad riding accident on another horse, I vowed never to ride again. I had totally lost my nerve and confidence.
Six months ago a friend told me that she had started to have riding lessons at \"Ladysmith\" and would I like to join her, my immediate reply \"NO, NO CHANCE!!\". Later on, I got to thinking about how much I used to enjoy riding and how much I missed not riding Soli. It was now or never as he and I are no spring chickens!! I phoned you and booked a riding lesson. I started to ride the lovely Robbie who is worth his weight in gold for giving me the confidence to ride again. Several lessons later I moved Soli to Ladysmith and five months later we have just done our first competition. Through your excellent instruction, facilities, confidence giving horses and support, you have given my horse back to me.
When we were looking for a new yard to which to move our horses, it was important to us that we found somewhere that not only offered exceptional facilities, welfare and good hacking out, but somewhere that recognised the individual requirements of horses and their owners. At the time, we were having trouble with ones of our horse's manners on the ground, and at 16.3 he was becoming a lot of horse to handle. We cannot thank Rose enough for helping Sharon work with him and after a few months of training, care and a good routine everything settled down and he has become a pleasure to own; not to mention quite a character on the yard.
The Ladysmith Equestrian ethos works very well for us. Rose runs a very professional and friendly yard. The Yard attracts like minded owners and students which creates an environment conducive with leisure riding and the development of both horse and rider. Although we both own our own horses and are happy to hack out and ride together, we want different things when it comes to developing our skills and horses. As you would expect from someone with her experience and qualification, Rose has worked with both of us to bring out the best in us in a way that suits our individual personalities.
After two and a half great years, we have two very happy and healthy horses living on full livery at Ladysmith. With access to excellent facilities, friendly people and great riding out we are very happy owners and would willingly recommend the yard to anyone who expects high standards accompanied by a friendly professional service.
Richard & Sharon Edmondson
We are guinea pigs for the coaches of the 2012 that Yogi is training – we did a dressage session last week and me and Rooney behaved very well (the other guinea pigs, like Ginny Howe, are competing their horses at Blenheim!) – anyway I hope they ask us back for the show jumping training.
We are reserved to show jump at the riding club championships in Lincoln this weekend but I am hoping we wont have to go this year as I would like to have a little more practise at jump offs.
Rooney and I are utterly in love and he is Mr. Perfect!
You have trained Rooney so well! I was a guinea pig rider for the olympic coaches last week, it was like Billy Elliot describing ballet \"Electricity\"! Rooney was wonderful and despite my lack of experience we did everything the proper eventer guinea pigs did and we had a brilliant time - all the olympic coaches (Jeanette Breakwell etc) loved Rooney and Yogi Breisner did as well!
My dream came true riding my horse at Crown Farm (the olympic coaches bit was never in it though!) We did our first dressage competition at Gainfield and we won with 72% in prelim 12 my first ever red rosette!!
Thank you so much for producing and selling such a fabulous horse.
Although I had always wanted to ride I was 51 years old in 1997 before I actually had my first lesson and of course I was hooked. In 1998 my husband bought me my wonderful 17.2 skewbald called Tryfan (named after a mountain in Wales for obvious reasons) and I began the adventure of owning a horse.
To say that it has had its high and lows would be an understatement when I arrived at Ladysmith it was to be the fifth yard we had been on. I had learnt something new from each livery and every time I changed it was because I felt it was better for both Tryfan and I. However little did I know that the decision to join Rosemary Collins livery Ladysmith Equestrian on a dull day in February four years ago was to be the best decision I had made since owning Tryfan and I was about to join what was for me the very best yard I had been on.
Tryfan settled very well on the yard and it seemed as if he had always been there. He had had some sad times before I bought him and had issues with water and any movement near his head and ears. Jenny Hall vetted him for me and said with some TLC he would be perfect. For the first year Tryfan was on full livery and because of my personal circumstances time restraints where an issue. So it was great to know that he was happy and being well looked after as my time was restricted, looking back I don’t think that I rode more than 6 times that first year.
My life settled and time restraints eased and I begun to have lessons with Rosemary. As I have always been a nervous rider lacking confidence in my own abilities the first lesson was spent hanging on to the reigns and curled up in a ball but, my lesson awoke all the passion to be able to ride competently.
That lesson was to be the turning point for me and I began a real love affair with riding I went on to have lessons regularly through all the seasons the thoughts of my lessons with Rosemary got me out of bed on even the coldest of Saturday mornings. Rosemary has not only taught me to ride she has gently encouraged me to become a rider and owner explaining things to me as we progressed through all the disciplines. Standing in the school in rain and wind gently cajoling me with her calm tones and gentle ways that even the horses respond to. Last year we a had a competition on the yard just a small friendly affair and thanks to the help and encouragement I have been given both in caring for and riding Tryfan I entered and along with all the other people that Rosemary teaches we had a great day and although I did get a rosette for me it was about having the confidence to go in the school and carry out a dressage test with other people present.
There has been two very significant people in my adventure with horses, Jenny Hall whose comments at the vetting proved absolutely right with TLC Tryfan has become just perfect and Rosemary Collins whose help and encouragement with both riding and caring for Tryfan has been such an inspiration to me and helped me become a competent rider and owner.
We have a wonderful new school at Ladysmith with an amazing surface and full lights so we can ride in those winter months when hacking can been restricted. Rosemary was sitting on the fence of the school on New Years Eve and Tryfan and I walked over to speak to her and as we chatted Rosemary was stroking Tryfan’s head and ears and to me that says it all.